Meow! Cat Fight Ensues in Against Me! vs. Arcade Fire

Against Me

Sometimes a Hollywood move is simply a Hollywood move designed to utilize Hollywood star power, Dr. Freud. And sometimes it ain’t. As Stan Lee might say, ‘nuf said.

By Fred Mills

Against Me!’s Laura Grace, aka the artist formerly known as Tom Gabel, has called Arcade Fire out on the carpet for some real or imagined slight regarding transgender issues, stemming from the recent video for the band’s Reflektor track “We Exist.” It stars Andrew “Spider Man” Garfield as a cross-dressing man “in the throes of an identity crisis.”

Despite Arcade Fire’s obviously well-intentioned foray into what is currently a hotbutton issue in the U.S., there’s no question that “hotbutton issue” equals “sensitive subject” and Grace/Gabel clearly has a stake in said issue—some might even say the Against Me! musician has a marketing angle therein, considering how the band’s recent Transgender Dysphoria Blues, a killer punk rock album by any measure, generated a good deal of press early on but unfortunately has failed to generate much in the way of retail sales (particularly compared to some of the group’s previous releases).

My opinion: Sometimes, though, in today’s uber-politically correct climate, we find offense and discern slights where, upon measured reflection, there clearly are none. Gender and sexual politics are especially under the microscope these days, so it’s easy to get distracted away from the real battle, which is at the state legislative level, not at the rock-band-video-level.

Grace/Gable grouses, via Twitter, and it is certainly his right to complain:

Laura Jane Grace        @LauraJaneGrace  Follow Dear @arcadefire , maybe when making a video for a song called “We Exist” you should get an actual “Trans” actor instead of Spider-Man? 12:08 PM – 22 May 2014

Here’s the video. Decide for yourself if this is much ado about nothing.


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